Business Spotlight featuring Betty Hilliard

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WELCOME TO THE BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT, WHERE WE FEATURE A DIFFERENT BUSINESS EVERY WEEK!

This week we are featuring
Betty Hilliard of Mainstay Editorial Services LLC

How long have you been in business?

Two Years.

What is your business all about? (services, products, etc)

Words say a lot about a company, and I love working with clients on their words – their written content. Whether I am editing content or writing content, I consider myself the behind-the-scenes support for my clients making sure their messages are clear, concise and free of errors. My job is to make sure my clients’ messages are on target for their customers and that they build trust with their customers through their written communications.

What makes your business unique?

I don’t just write and edit content. I have a strong background in marketing, and I apply my marketing knowledge and experience to my projects. So, in addition to editing for grammar and spelling, I review content with an eye on marketing. I make sure my clients’ messages are targeted for their specific audience, and I ensure my clients’ brand image is maintained throughout all of their written content.

What made you start your business?

I worked in the marketing/public relations industry until I had children. Then, I stepped away from the corporate world for a few years so I could be home with my boys. When I was ready to get back into the business, I wanted to do it differently. I wanted to do it in ways that enabled me to connect with more people and in ways that empowered me to help more people and their businesses. That is why I started my own business – Mainstay Editorial Services.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful business owner?

1. Patience – building a successful business doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, and you’ll face setbacks. Having the patience to push through it all is so important.

2. A willingness to learn – as a business owner you are always learning new things – how to put processes in place, how to market your business, how to identify your ideal client, how to use new technology. The learning never stops, so be prepared to soak it all in.

3. Strong communication skills – maybe I feel this way because my business revolves around written communication, but I really do feel strong communication skills are a must. You need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively with your clients to keep your projects/sales on track.

What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to launch their own business?

1. Know what you are good at. What can you do that will be helpful to someone else?

2. Set boundaries in your business. Customers will always ask for more. They will ask for discounts. They will ask for freebies. They will ask for more of your time. Clearly defining your boundaries in the beginning will help things flow more smoothly in your business.

3. Be flexible. As you are starting out in business something unexpected will popup. Instead of letting it throw you off course, be flexible and find solutions.

How do you conquer those moments of doubt that so often stifle or trip up or stop so many?

I have an amazing network of fellow entrepreneurs – a group of women who can answer my questions and offer support when needed. The have been my cheerleaders. Not only do they provide help when I need it, but they also inspire me. They inspire me to dream big when it comes to my business. Plus, they are pretty awesome at what they do, so I love learning from them!

Thank you, Betty, for letting us share a bit about you!

If you’d like to reach out to Betty, here is Betty’s Contact Information.

Betty Hilliard

Mainstay Editorial Services LLC in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas

Website:

Mainstayedit.com

5 Things You Won't See Me Do on LinkedIn

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LinkedIn is the premier social media platform for professionals in all industries. With over 260 million monthly users, you have quite a large base to develop new connections and build relationships with potential clients.

However, there are several LinkedIn “sins” which can haunt you and affect your credibility and reputation. Here are just a few things to avoid doing on LinkedIn:

1. Judge others for their choices. No matter what their choice – whether a prospect chose a different coach or chose a branding color palette that you don’t like – posting your negative opinions on LinkedIn serves no purpose. If your prospect chose another coach, ask them privately what influenced their decision. Feedback is useful, public shaming is not.

2. Start political arguments. Unless you’re an aspiring political strategist, politics don’t have any place in your business. You are most certainly entitled to your political opinions but save those debates for Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn has the most professional atmosphere of any other platform and with today’s political climate, you will only scare away a large number of prospects if you start political arguments.

3. Add my network's email addresses to my list. Just because you have access to your connections’ email addresses via their LinkedIn profiles does NOT mean they give permission to add them to your email list. The same is true of any prospects you meet who give you business cards. Not only will these prospects mark your messages as spam, but this also goes against the CAN-SPAM Act, which requires permission to add people to your list. Add them to your inbox as a personal contact, NOT to your autoresponder.

4. Post personal photos or reminisce about college partying. Save these fun stories for less professional sites like Facebook or SnapChat. LinkedIn serves a professional purpose and those types of photos will give pause to anyone looking to hire a professional coach. We’ve all heard the stories of college graduates who lost job opportunities because of what they posted online. If it has the potential to harm your reputation or credibility, keep it offline.

5. Use others strictly for introductions or job opportunities.  No one likes being used. Put yourself in that same situation, where your connections didn’t really care about you, they only cared about who you know. Instead of hitting up new connections immediately for introductions or job interviews, build a relationship first, then ask.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you should NOT do on LinkedIn. Across all the social media platforms you’ve probably seen plenty of tacky things that made your eyes roll. Use your common sense and think before you post on LinkedIn. How will your posts be perceived? These tips are not meant to discourage you from being your authentic self; they are instead meant to act as guidelines to maintaining your professional credibility so your ideal clients will find you and trust you.

Business Spotlight featuring Tammi Soehl

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WELCOME TO THE BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT, WHERE WE FEATURE A DIFFERENT BUSINESS EVERY WEEK!

This week we are featuring
Tammi Soehl of Heritage Bank

How long have you been in business?

This is my 17th year

What is your business all about? (services, products, etc)

Mortgages. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac – Conventional loans, FHA loans, Rural Development Loans, SD Housing first time buyer loans, construction loans, physician programs and refinancing your mortgage.

What makes your business unique?

We have a physician loan program that basically when a doctor is moving to town, they can buy a house with no money down and no private mortgage insurance and low interest rate.

What made you start your business?

Funny story. I was actually a nurse and the doctor I worked for for the last 10 years retired. One of my patients asked me to work with him in the financial world. So I did.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful business owner?

I believe in Team Work, being organized and good communication. I need all these pieces in place to get a customers loan to close on time to make this big investment and get their dream home.

What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to launch their own business?

Be a good listener (absorb everything you can and have a good mentor), have a passion and story for what you sell and keep it simple. People and customers do not have time for anything complicated.

Who has been your greatest inspiration? Or what book has inspired you the most? Or what is your favorite book?

My greatest inspiration is when I can help a single woman or single mom buy a home by themselves with no help from anyone. I love educating people about the mortgage process. First time home buyers also are fun to work with because they are so excited!!! My favorite books are about people who make it on their own and not born with a silver spoon in their mouth.

How do you conquer those moments of doubt that so often stifle or trip up or stop so many?

Having been in this business for so long, there are years where it can be stressful due to the market, high interest rates, no inventory of homes, buyers or sellers’ market…..I’ve learned you have to stop worrying about what others think. There is always someone that appears to be doing better than you. Set small goals so you’re not overwhelmed. By achieving smaller goals, you can constantly win. Surround yourself with the right people…these people can encourage you and lastly remind yourself of prior successes…..by this you won’t dwell on the negatives. Give yourself full credit for your triumphs.

Thank you, Tammi, for letting us share a bit about you!

If you’d like to reach out to Tammi, here is Tammi’s Contact Information.

Tammi Soehl

Heritage Bank located on the corner of 8th & Phillips Ave

Website: www.tammisoehl.com

Networking Tips: How to Find Leads on LinkedIn Naturally

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With 260 million monthly active users, LinkedIn may seem like your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to sell their product or services to 260 million people?

Let’s remember, however, that LinkedIn in NOT about sales: It’s about building connections and developing relationships with people who may (or may not) be interested in what you have to offer.

Here are some tips for networking naturally on LinkedIn so you don’t develop that pushy “used car salesman” reputation that make people want to run away:

1. Do your research first. Do some Google searches and peruse company websites to search for ideal clients instead of bombarding employees at that company for introductions. You may have a great track record helping Fortune 500 executives but spamming them with connection requests out of the blue won’t win you any favors.

2. Personalize your messages. When you finally decide on sending connection requests, don’t fall for the easy way out by using the LinkedIn sample text. That’s a perfect way to show your prospect that you have no idea who they are or what they do, so why would they want to connect with you? Instead, include a snippet of how you met. Did you hear them speak at a conference? Mention that. Were you introduced at a networking luncheon by a mutual friend? Say that. Prospective connections will pay more attention to your personal message than any automated, text template.

3. Ask for personal introductions.  Stalking someone’s connection list on LinkedIn is a little creepy, especially if you cold call these people and say, “We’re mutual friends with Jamie Smith,” as the start of your conversation. Instead, ask Jamie Smith directly for an introduction. Remember, most people will only make introductions for those they actually know and who they trust, so make an effort to befriend Jamie Smith first before asking for those introductions.

4. Build the relationship first instead of going straight for the sale. Don’t be the person who accepts a new connection request and immediately sends a message with a sales pitch. Not only will that new connection cringe at the tackiness but they will likely tell others about your spammy tactic and you’ll have others hesitate or ignore your connection requests. Instead, send a “nice to meet you” message, thanking them for connecting. Publish consistently on your feed. Like valuable information they have posted on their own feed. Ask to meet in person if you’re local or if you’re attending the same conference. Show your new connection that you are interested in them and what they do.

5. Keep your profile up to date. New connections will most likely check your profile before joining your network or responding to your messages, so keep it up to date. Always post a current headshot; fill in your headline and description with power words so prospects know exactly what you do; and don't lie on your resume.

One note: There’s a huge difference between introducing yourself with your company name and what you have to offer versus introducing yourself with a hard core sales pitch. Craft your introduction carefully and you won’t be perceived as a tacky salesperson desperate to make a sale.

Business Spotlight featuring Megan Dahle

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WELCOME TO THE BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT, WHERE WE FEATURE A DIFFERENT BUSINESS EVERY WEEK!

This week we are featuring
Megan Dahle.

How long have you been in business?

2 years!

What is your business all about? (services, products, etc)

I help creative business owners use their numbers to make better business decisions as we take intentional action towards their business goals.

What makes your business unique?

I make business' data visual in an engaging, relate-able way so that business owners who THINK their "not good at numbers" can see the progress they are making or identify what changes need to be made.

What made you start your business?

I saw friends who were struggling in their businesses because they we're grasping the importance of their numbers. Sure $60 an hour might sound great when you're working a job for $25/hr. But when it's your business, that $60 doesn't go straight into your pocket. It's not easy to see "why" that's true unless you are comfortable digging into a spreadsheet to figure out where everything is going. I have an innate ability to see how all the numbers flow together and work for or against you, and I love sharing that with people. When they "get it" and that crystal clear picture of how their business finances really work appears, there's a dichotomy between feeling like a fool about the past and feeling like a genius about what is to come. I want them to focus on the future, because we all have things about our past that we wish we understood better, faster. The really fun part is when they can step into that genius with what they're already good at and new ideas start flowing, and they can really see how their business is going to work to make their goals become a reality.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful business owner?

1) Make educated, swift decisions

2) Take action

3) Focus on your customer/client outcome

What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to launch their own business?

Start with Profit First. If you use that as a framework from the beginning, you will be profitable.

Who has been your greatest inspiration? Or what book has inspired you the most? Or what is your favorite book?

My favorite book is Deep Work. It completely changed the way I address my work day and has allowed creativity to flow with direction.

How do you conquer those moments of doubt that so often stifle or trip up or stop so many?

I lean heavily on my business-owning friends. They mean the world to me and can see things in me that I'm not able to yet.

Thank you, Megan, for letting us share a bit about you!  


If you’d like to reach out to Megan, visit her website here: MeganDahle.com